Persons, places and things


A miracle reminds us: God’s in charge
Searching for a missing newborn on a bitterly cold Friday morning in West Branch, the police chief heard a baby’s cry coming from inside a tote box outside the BP gas station.
He opened the box Feb. 7 and discovered a miracle: six-day-old Kayden Powell, wrapped in blankets, was alive. Whisked away to University Hospitals in Iowa City, the infant — who may have been in the box for hours — was hungry but healthy.
How could the baby kidnapped from Beloit, Wis., have possibly survived sub-zero temperatures for an extended period of time? A doctor explained that newborns have a layer of “brown fat” that keeps them warm, but even that doctor used the word “miracle” to describe the infant’s survival.
Watching televised news reports airing from Beloit and West Branch, I saw police chiefs barely able to conceal their emotions following the joyful outcome of the all-out search for little Kayden.
For me, this story serves as a reminder of God’s presence in our lives and the invitation to acknowledge that presence and our total dependence on God. I can’t help but think of last Sunday’s Gospel reading about not hiding our light under a bushel basket. In this case, the light of faith glowed inside a tote box, waiting to illumine the world from tiny West Branch, Iowa. Every day we have opportunities to experience God’s miracles in our lives, if we pay attention: from sunrises and sunsets to affirmation for a job well done to the avoidance of an accident on the interstate. But sometimes we are captivated by God’s miracles; Kayden is one of them.

Spreading the faith: the young adult evangelizers
During a meeting of my parish’s liturgy committee, I suggested we needed to encourage opportunities to engage young adult Catholics in our parish and diocesan Church.
Two efforts — the Davenport Diocese’s Catholic Young Adult Network (CYAN) and Quad Cities Theology on Tap — strive to do just that.
Our pastor, Father Joe Wolf, asked me to contact members of the groups to speak at Our Lady of the River in LeClaire. Easy enough; the coordinator of Theology on Tap is Celine Klosterman, reporter/page designer for The Catholic Messenger! She and Luke Ebener, a CYAN leader, made arrangements to speak to parishioners at Our Lady of the River this past weekend. Luke is coordinator of youth and young adult ministry at St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Davenport.
Luke and Celine conveyed warmth and enthusiasm for the Catholic faith and their commitment to share that faith with other young adults through prayer, spiritual and intellectual stimulation and socialization. Through CYAN and Theology on Tap, they are practicing the joyful evangelization that Pope Francis encouraged at World Youth Day in Brazil and in his apostolic exhortation, “Evangelii Gaudium” (“The Joy of the Gospel”).
Quad Cities Theology on Tap, entering its 10th year (Muscatine also has a Theology on Tap group, and one will begin in Burlington), offers education and fellowship monthly from March to November at Jersey Grille in Davenport. Speakers explore topics ranging from prayer to relationships to social justice to canon law. Participants have time for discussion and building community.
CYAN serves as a clearing house for all-things-young-adult-ministry. It strives to promote already established young adult ministry programs and events, and to plan and conduct occasional diocesan-based training, formation and networking experiences for young adults and young adult ministry leaders.
So far, CYAN has hosted two conferences, planned Masses and organized a day of service for young adults.
Eucharistic adoration also is offered once a month, on Thursday nights at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport, Luke told our parish.
I know members of my parish responded enthusiastically to the presentations by Luke and Celine. We need young adults to carry the faith forward in a way that inspires many to follow them.
You can contact Luke at  or email for more information.

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